All these …”: Negative Opinion About People and “Pejorative Plural” in Russian

Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 11551)


The paper discusses plural forms of Russian nouns (in particular, of the surnames) like vsjakie tam Ivanovy (‘various Ivanovs’, ‘all sorts of Ivanovs’), expressing negative opinion about the referents. The co-occurrence patterns of the Pl.Pej forms by Web-corpus data is revealed. Pl.Pej forms foremost fit together with universal quantifiers including ‘all’, ‘all of these’ etc., and can be easily integrate in quantificational expressions, e.g., combinations with numerals, collective nouns, and expressions that include number words like mnogo (‘many’). These elements are able to convey and support the meaning of multiplicity, non-uniqueness of the objects, denoted by forms of Pl.Pej.

Among the usages of Pl.Pej the names of “oligarchs” and “right-wing, liberal politicians” predominate. The form mainly appears in heavily politicized texts. The studied form and co-occurrence patterns are a legacy of the Soviet socio-political discourse and originate from the language of Soviet newspapers.

The Pl.Pej form is still a part of an aggressive leftist discourse, directed against a “group of the rich”. The addressant of such discourse is a representative of a “group of the poor, oppressed, socially humiliated”.


Russian Internet Web-corpus Hate speech Secondary meanings of plural Proper noun Pejorative plural Humbling names Co-occurrence 


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Saint Petersburg State UniversitySt. PetersburgRussia

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